Selecting a Mentor
Tips for Selecting a Mentor or Intern Supervisor
Mentors play an important role in the professional development of young professionals. The most effective mentors or supervisors help their interns (mentees) feel more self-confident and resilient in the face of challenges while providing direction, inspiration and wisdom.
Below are some tips to keep in mind when selecting or becoming a mentor or supervisor:
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Get Started on the Right Foot
Creating and implementing a formal on-boarding/orientation process ensures that interns get started on the right foot. The orientation should provide the student intern with opportunities to meet the employees, especially those in their immediate work area, gain an understanding of the general philosophy and procedures for the organization as a whole, and the rules and expectations to be followed.
Mentor or supervisors need to be available to oversee the intern’s day-to-day performance and offer constructive feedback on an ongoing basis. A supervisor should provide guidance and be involved in the student intern’s work in order for them to build upon their professional skills. Regular communication with the intern is an important component for success, allowing the transfer of knowledge between the mentor and the mentee!
Be Specific in Your Feedback
Evaluations are an important component of an internship program that allows students to grow during the internship process. Feedback and evaluations should provide constructive criticism (and praise as applicable) based on the intern’s tasks and projects. It is also helpful in an evaluation process to request feedback from the student about your internship program.
Remember that an internship serves as a link between classroom learning and practical application; keep this in mind as you create a learning plan and set expectations for your student intern.